Obituaries are not real strong in the newspapers for Ontario in 1874. If you get more than a line in the newspaper you are doing well. Unfortunately, Benjamin’s obituary was very brief and extremely difficult to read in the newspaper.
At the Strathroy Public Library, there are binders with indexes of the local newspaper. I am impressed it is a monumental job but so helpful. Once you find the name in the index you then go to the microfilm of the newspaper and seek your newspaper article. In my travels in September 2014 I saw a lot of this indexing going on in various archives for newspapers and more.
On the page for the Wards I found a nice list: names, type, place, S_A, date and page. There were about 26 Ward surnames listed. I did not find Sarah, his wife, in the list.
Ward, Benjamin, death, Adelaide, 86, Nov. 6, 1874, page 8
I then pulled the microfilm and here is the announcement of the death of Benjamin Ward. It is right above the line and title. It reads: In Adelaide on the 1st ____, Benjamin Ward aged 86 died or something like that. I really tried to get a good clean photo but the film was fuzzy.
About a month later I was in Salt Lake City at the Family History Library and I was able to look at the Surrogate Court Records for Middlesex County and I was blown away. I found a will and a case file for Benjamin Ward. I was so surprised. He was not the only Ward listed so I took pictures of at least the wills for the others I found with the Ward surname, I only went up to 1873. I do not know if they are related to Benjamin.
Source: Probate Court, 1846-1900 Middlesex Co., Ontario (R.G. 22, Series 6-1) R126. Index FHL#428256.
1. 1846 No. 44, Ward, Charles Register A-109 FHL#428527 Probate Books
2. 1864 No. 343 Ward, Hyland, D-186, FHL#428258 Probate Books
Notes: This will is very detailed with up to eight bequests. It is very difficult to read: Will dated 18 June 1862, Twp. of Lobo, died 13 March 1864, Appoint son-in-law Donald J. McArthur Executor and wife Hannah Ward Executrix. Son [Jameson] Ward gives 100 acres of land. Son Hiriam Ward 80 acres in Lobo Twp. Son Judson coming of age 21 years. Son William Ward real estate in the State of Iowa 80 acres and he goes on for a while. Gives to said Executrix the lot in Number 1 in Block B in the Village of [Romotha] and land to be equally divided between his sons George and Judson Ward. Executrix also gets his personal possessions. Mentions daughters Mary [Elwilly] sum of two hundred dollars. Daughter Catherine Jane the sum of two hundred dollars. Daughter Hannah Ann sum of one hundred dollars. Daughter Prudence Ann sum of two hundred dollars. Walter Ward the sum of one thousand dollars. Witnessed by John Moffath and Wm. Barnum. Signed by Hyland Ward, a true copy.
3. 1872 No. 820, Ward, George Gay, Register E-269, FHL#428258 Probate Books
Notes: The Will of George Gay Ward is very complicated: 9 March 1872, late of the township of Mosa, died about the 19th of December 1872. Appoints his beloved wife Margaret Ward his Executrix and John McLean of the town of St. Thomas in the County of Elgin Bannister at law my Executor of my last will and guardian of my several infant children. He gives his household items to his wife Margaret and arranges for her care and care of his children but he does not name them. Witnesses: Malcolm G. Monro and Martha Monro, 11th day of November, 1873.
4. 1872 No. 896 Ward, Michael Admin, A-33, FHL Check Index #428256? Probably #428527
5. 1873 No. 1026 Ward, Judson D. E-688, FHL#428258, Probate Books
Note: This will is also very complicated and the handwritting was difficult to understand. It looks like he might be Hyland’s son: The Estate of Judson Davis [Adniram] Ward, 3 December 1873 late of town of Strathroy who died on or about the 13 November 1873. Wife Agney and two children Ida Ward and Bynon Herbert Ward. Divide real and person property between wife and children. Executor is Donald J. McArthur and William [Buanam] both of Township of Lobo. Witnesses are John Cameron of the Town of Strathroy and Truman H. Ward of the Township of Lobo.
6. 1873 No. 1155, Ward, Benjamin F-345 Probate Books FHL#428278 and Probate papers FHL#428278. I will share the estate of Benjamin in the next post.
7. 1873 No. 1223, Ward, John F-309, FHL#428278 Probate Books. I am not sure this is name is Ward. In reading the Will it looks more like Wark or Wirk.
If you are interested in any of these wills, I do have copies which are hard to read but you can give it a try, so leave me a comment and I will contact you.